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Keeping a Disability Journal: Why it Helps Your Application for SSD Benefits

A journal can be a method of marking time, sharing your innermost thoughts in a private way or simply a means to pass the time. When it comes to your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, describing the erosion of your physical condition can be difficult, especially if the nature of your illness or injury affects your memory.  The importance of taking the time to keep a diary of the discomfort you’re experiencing is an invaluable tool. Our Philadelphia SSD attorneys explain why the words you write in its pages could make or break your application with the Social Security Administration.

Recording the Fresh Details

Memory is one of the most flawed things we have in terms of fine details. You forget things – it’s completely normal. Writing down the symptoms you experience in the minutes after suffering them can allow you to capture those descriptive details that can really show those reviewing your application how your injury or illness affects your functional capacity. Trying to recall several months later how you felt when your injury or illness first occurred can be difficult. Even just five minutes of writing down your pain level, and how it influences your ability to move or perform household tasks, can be the key details in your application’s approval.

Helping Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan

Your doctor needs regular updates on how your treatment plan affects your physical condition. Keeping a daily journal of your reactions to prescriptions and physical therapy regiments can be an important piece in fine-tuning your care. If something in your treatment plan isn’t working, write it down in your journal so you remember to bring it up the next time you see your doctor. Achieving maximum medical improvement is a key piece in your approval for SSD benefits, so you want to make certain you receive medical care that assists you in attaining the highest functional level possible.

Adjusting Your Routines and Activities

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Long-term injuries or illnesses have far-reaching impacts on the way you live from how you get dressed in the morning to where you travel during the day. You can’t work. You might not be able to walk without help. Keeping a diary of your routines, and your pain levels while performing certain activities, can help you chart your own recovery progress, as well as warn you of any deteriorating faculties.

A Mental Break from the Pain

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Focusing on your own agony all the time is exhausting for your mind. You might latch on to the same thoughts repeatedly; play them in your head until you’re nauseous. The mind affects the body, which is why a journal is a good therapeutic tool. Put those repetitive thoughts down on paper; get them out of your head. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, or fears surrounding your treatment or recovery process. Once you get the thoughts out in the open, you may start to feel better about your situation and prospects for improvement.

Giving Your Attorneys Information

Our SSD lawyers in Philadelphia help clients obtain the benefits they deserve with a comprehensive review of their applications. When you hire us, any information you have on how your disability affects your daily life can be compelling evidence to convince the Social Security Administration to approve your application. The entries in your journal can furnish that kind of information, and allow us an inside look into how you’ve been coping with the heavy burden of your injury or illness.

If you’re ready to receive experienced, proven legal help from attorneys who know the Social Security Disability system, call our firm today to get your life back on track. Your condition caused a bump in your road. We’ll make sure it doesn’t bring you to a full stop.


Before coming to Young, Marr & Associates, our SSD attorneys worked for the SSA which gives us an advantage over attorneys who have never dealt directly with the internal SSA system. We know the process is difficult – your job is to get better, and our job is to make sure you get the disability you deserve.

Chances are you are preoccupied dealing with a painful illness. You are concerned about your financial future, about how you will get by without a steady source of income.

Read what our clients have to say about us.


“I have already recommended Paul Young numerous times. He was honest, explained endlessly in terms that were understandable. Paul Young guided me through the process from beginning consultation to the end of case. Highly satisfied and grateful for his expertise.”


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